Greetings from your new pastor! In case you have not already figured this out, Harmony Grove has a new pastor and perhaps to your surprise, that would be me: Pastor Mark LaRocca-Pitts. Though I have nearly 25 years of pastoral experience most of that has been in a healthcare setting as a professional chaplain. This translates into my bringing here to Harmony Grove a rich and varied experience in pastoral care, including end of life care, grief support, medical ethics, and crisis intervention.
You may also have heard that I am pretty well educated, though I know for a fact not all my education took hold. Nonetheless, this background provides a rich tapestry of subjects I can teach, such as the Bible, including its history, languages, and historical context, world religions, including the major Western and Eastern religions, and some indigenous and magical traditions, and finally some assorted philosophical interests, especially including atheism and existentialism.
Yet perhaps my most cherished area of interest is spirituality, especially what I might call “mature” spirituality or “holistic” spirituality. The Christian tradition is rich in spiritual practices I have practiced, including centering prayer, lectio-divina, pilgrimages, worship, and labyrinths. I also draw upon Eastern spiritual practices, such as yoga and meditation. Included in holistic spirituality are other practices such as healthy relationships, exercise, and good eating and sleeping patterns.
I am excited to be your new pastor and I hope we find many ways to connect and grow together as we make first ourselves and then others into disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
In Christ, Pastor Mark
“I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name.” (Isaiah 45:3)